Winnebago, Carpets, Onsen, Potter by Peter McDonald

Monday to Friday, 9:30am- 5:00pm

Daiwa Foundation Japan House, 13/14 Cornwall Terrace, Outer Circle, London, NW1 4PQ 

Peter McDonald depicts colourful scenes inhabited by people engaged in everyday activities. Images of teachers, artists, hairdressers or carpet sellers are constructed with an elementary graphic language. By making use of archetypes, symbolism and our incorrigible tendency to make the strange seem more familiar, McDonald’s alternative world reads like a parallel universe.

The artist describes the exhibition as a view of his painted universe, showcasing his paintings and works on paper, revealing the influence of everyday experiences upon his practice. For example the diptych, Looking for a Carpet(2009) was based on an experience during a trip to Morocco. Some of the works on paper reflect his stay in Japan during and after his year-long project Visitor, in Kanazawa, whilst the Noh drama series of works were based on his memories of traditional theatre performances and collaborations with the Kanazawa Noh Museum duringVisitor.

Peter McDonald was born in Tokyo in 1973, studying sculpture at Central St. Martins School of Art and painting at the Royal Academy Schools. He has had solo exhibitions at Kate MacGarry, Londonand also at Gallery Side 2, Tokyo, amongst others. He was awarded the John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize (2008). Art on the Underground commissioned McDonald to produce Art for Everybody a large scale billboard installation at Southwark station (2009). As artist-in-residence at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2011–12), he worked on a year-long project called Visitor, which included workshops and work-in-progress shows.

Asians All Look The Same

Parecchi anni fa’, quando sono venuto a Londra per studiare l’inglese, mi sono trovato in classe con diversi studenti provenienti da paesi come Giappone, Cina, Thailandia, Corea ed altri paesi Asiatici e tra noi studenti Italiani o di altre nazioni non Asiatiche era luogo comune dire che gli studenti provenienti da qui paesi si assomigliavano tutti e che spesso era facile far confusione e confonderli. Da parte loro, gli studenti Asiatici, ribattevano che noi Occidentali abbiamo caratteristiche fisiche che ci accomunano e quindi per loro un Italiano e’ facilmente confondibile con uno Spagnolo o un Tedesco o un’Inglese. Le discussioni che iniziavo in classe spesso continuavano alla sera in bar o pub dove dopo un po’ di birre ci si metteva alla prova. A distanza di anni penso di riconoscere facilmente un Giapponese da un Cinese o un Coreano da un Thailandese. Voi riuscite a riconoscere la provenienza di una persona Asiatica? Provate a mettervi alla prova con uno dei tanti video reperibile su youtube.

Many years ago, when I came to London to learn English, I met many students from Asian countries such as Japan, China, Thailand, South Korea, etc. Amongst Italian and other Western students it was very common to say things like ‘all Asians look the same’. Asian students, when confronted with our stupid comments, usually replied saying that all Western people look the same and that there were not too many physical differences between Italians and Spanish or Italians and Germans and so on. Friendly discussion which had started at college carried on in the evenings in bars or pubs where after few beers we would challenge classmates to recognise origin of friends or people seen in public places. After many years I confidently can spot a Japanese from a Chinese or a Korean. Can you do the same? Try to test you skills with one of the many videos available on youtube.